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Conduct research

Observation findings

Determining the findings of your observation data involves more than simply reporting initial results.  Instead, it is important to critically examine results and check for statistical pitfalls to develop accurate findings upon which you can make reliable conclusions.

Critically examine results

No matter what your results, ask some critical questions:

Check for statistical pitfalls

Make conclusions

Additional information

Aron, A. & Aron, E. N. (2002). Statistics for Psychology, 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River, N J: Prentice Hall.

Berkowitz, S. (1997). Analyzing Qualitative Data. In J. Frechtling, L. Sharp, and Westat (Eds.), User-Friendly Handbook for Mixed Method Evaluations (Chapter 4). Retrieved June 20, 2006 from National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources Web site: http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/REC/pubs/NSF97-153/CHAP_4.HTM.

Bogdan R. B. & Biklin, S. K. (1998). Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theory and Methods, Third Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Coe, R. (2000). What is an 'effect size'? A guide for users. Retrieved March 1, 2005 from the University of Durham, Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre, Evidence-Based Education-UK Web site: http://www.cemcentre.org/ebeuk/research/effectsize/ESguide.htm.
Note: No longer available.

Cohen's Kappa: Index of inter-rater reliability. Retrieved June 20, 2006 from University of Nebraska Psychology Department Research Design and Data Analysis Directory Web site: http://www-class.unl.edu/psycrs/handcomp/hckappa.PDF.

Greiner, J. M. (2004). Trained observer ratings. In J. S. Wholey, H. P. Hatry & K. E. Newcomers (Eds.), Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (2nd ed.) (pp. 211-256). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

T-test. Retrieved December 4, 2007 from the Georgetown University, Department of Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics Resources Web site: http://www1.georgetown.edu/departments/psychology/resources/researchmethods/statistics/8318.html.

Weunschk, K.L. (2003). Inter-rater Agreement. Retrieved June 20. 2006 from: http://core.ecu.edu/psyc/wuenschk/docs30/InterRater.doc.

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